Rovers may yet pay price for owners’ inaction

by admin

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Back in mid-December, Blackburn boss Steve Kean looked a cast-iron certainty to become the second managerial casualty of the Premier League season. Following back-to-back home defeats to West Brom and fellow strugglers Bolton, the seemingly inevitable appeared a matter of days away. An impressive draw at Anfield and an outstanding victory at Old Trafford later however, and supporter pressure began to ease as the Scot led a resurgent Rovers side into the New Year.

Despite this newfound optimism heading into 2012, the Ewood Park hierarchy were still left with an important decision to make. Did they oust Kean regardless and provide his replacement with a healthy budget to reshape the squad or stand by their man and supply him with the necessary funds to steer the club to safety. Both would have involved putting their hand in their pocket, something they ultimately refused to do, as Kean remained but with a near-empty kitty to work with in the January window. In a month that invites hope to the terraces of that season-altering signing, Blackburn owners Venky’s quietly, but perhaps fatally, failed to deliver.

Like so many others, I was quick to condemn the callous nature in which a significant portion of Rovers fans voiced their disgruntlement to Steve Kean earlier in the season. However, I can’t help but feel that the Lancashire club would be set for a less nervy run-in to the campaign had their owners indeed opted to answer the protesters’ calls and decided to twist instead of stick.

Compare recent events at Ewood Park, or rather the lack of any, to the sudden splurge of activity at Loftus Road. While Mark Hughes hasn’t made the brightest of starts at his new club, there certainly seems a growing belief on the back of his appointment that QPR will stay up this year. Such positivity has been further fuelled by several shrewd acquisitions with the January arrivals of Bobby Zamora, Djibril Cissé and Nedum Onuoha.

Rs chairman Tony Fernandes took a risk last month in firing the popular Neil Warnock but one I feel he will be vindicated for in the long run. He also followed it up with some much-needed financial backing for the new manager. With Venky’s and Steve Kean, the risk was lower but it was still not one the Indian owners were willing to take. Is Kean the right man to guide Blackburn to survival? I’m not so sure.

Rovers have enjoyed mixed fortunes in recent weeks, with a 7-1 humiliation at the hands of Arsenal partially counteracted by Saturday’s narrow win over, incidentally, Hughes’s QPR, which leaves them outside the relegation zone, albeit on goal difference alone, for the first time in almost five months. Kean was lucky that last week’s headline writers were distracted from his team’s capitulation at the Emirates by the frenzy surrounding the England manager’s job. However, another result of that discomfort and he will surely find his own position under media scrutiny once more.

Wolves chairman Steve Morgan has now followed Tony Fernandes in taking action. If Venky’s do not do the same and fast, they might well spur the swift demise of one of English football’s sleeping giants.

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  • S robinson

    The fans started protesting because we know he isn`t up to the job,
    Whats amazing is the press think we were being unreasonable.Glad to see non supporters are realising the truth , now if only the owners would.

  • Mystical Mike

    the owners know nothing about football. When they came over they said Rovers should be aiming for Champions League. They are completely out of touch with the Premier League and English football.

    Rovers have more chance of winning League 1 than finishing in the top 4!

  • dexylongshot

    The only reason he is still there is because Kean is a ‘Yes” man. I had him down at the start of the season as my favourite to be the first manager out. No out of work boss would touch Blackburn with a barge pole if Kean stepped down / or got the sack (unlikely).

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